Delicious light airy crunchy interior Classic Vanilla Meringue Cookies are low in sugar, gluten-free, made with only 5 ingredients to satisfy your sweet tooth. They are easy to make for a light dessert or a show stopper at your next party. They do take some patients, so read through the whole recipe before you start your first batch.
You may also be interested in Classic Italian Pizzelle Cookie Recipe which again uses just a few ingredients and is a crowd pleaser for holidays, birthdays,s or any family gathering.
Do you love the light airy crunch vanilla meringue cookie but do not like to pay the high prices in the store? You can make them at home with just 5 ingredients you may already have in your house.
Our family loves these little gems as they satisfy your craving for sweets but are only egg whites and sugar. For a cookie, they are low in sugar but high in flavor, and high in the crunch factor. We started eating meringue cookies when we were on weight watchers years ago as you could eat several of them for just a few points. But the price at that time was outrageous and now we can not find them in our store. We love to make them at home as a batch is whipped up in no time. Meringue cookies do not cost much at all as they are made with simple ingredients.
It does take some practice to get the right texture, but half the fun of perfecting the recipe is eating all the ones that are not quite like you like them. They are glossy white on the outside and dry and crunchy on the inside. That texture does take several hours of drying out the cookie but you do not have to stand there with them, just bake the cookie and leave them alone.
Steps To Make Vanilla Meringue Cookies
Before you begin to make these cookies I have found that if I have everything laid out and ready to go before I start, the baking goes smother. I admit that in most of my cooking I just start and grab my ingredients and supplies as I go but with Meringue Cookies if I do not prepare before I start I get frustrated.
The first step is to turn on the oven to 225° F. I use a pizza stone on the bottom rack to help keep the oven warm when I turn off the oven in step 2. The stone will be nice and hot when starting to bake the cookies. (remember the cookies will not be baked on this stone)
Set out the egg whites to get them to room temperature if buying already separated egg whites. For whole eggs separate the yolk from the whites and set the whites to bring up to room temperature. You can use slightly colder egg whites, just do not start whipping right out of the refrigerator.
Next prepare the cookies baking pan. Cut the parchment paper so that it fits inside the dimensions of your cookie sheets. With a large size cookie sheet, you will only need two pans for one recipe. If your cookie sheets are in a small size you may need 3. Do not spray oil on the paper.
Have the pastry bag with the star tip inserted and set in a tall glass to hold it upright if you are going to pipe the cookies.
Now that everything is ready to go it is time to start beating the egg whites.
Put all the egg whites in the mixing bowl and start the mixer on slow. As the egg whites start to get frothy increase the speed to 6 or medium. Add the cream of tartar and pinch of salt to the mixer and continue to mix. Add the sugar to the mixer one tablespoon at a time. This may seem excessively slow but you do not want to collapse the egg whites by adding too much too fast. When all the sugar is added keep beating at speed 6 or 7 until the egg whites are at a soft peak.
A soft peak is when you stop the mixer and raise the whisk and there is a soft peak of the egg whites standing up and curling over. A hard peak is when you lift the whisk and the peak stands tall and does not move. The egg whites need to be somewhere in between. Not so hard that you can not pipe them but not so soft that when they sit or are piped on the cookies sheet that they spread out. This may take some practice but the cookies taste great when cooked even if they spread out some.
When almost done beat in the vanilla and stop the mixer.
When the egg whites are at the right consistency fill the piping bag with all of the egg whites. Twist the top of the bag so none of the egg whites come out of the top and start pipping little star cookies on the parchment paper about 1 and 1/2 inch to 2 inches apart.
You can skip the piping altogether and just spoon little cookies. Using a spoon works best if you are adding mini chocolate chips.
When all the cookies are on the cookies sheet bake at 225° for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The cookies should be white, do not bake too brown, they look best a pure white color.
After one hour turn off the oven, open the door a slight amount, and leave the cookies in the oven for 1 hour.
After the second hour where we live my cookies are not dry on the inside but chewy. They should not be chewy, they still taste good but they are best when they are crunchy. Depending on your altitude and humidity of where you live it will take more or less to dry out the cookies.
I take my cookies and then put them in my food dehydrator on low for another 2 to 3 hours. The fun part of this is that after an hour or so you will need to taste one to see if they are done.
- 1/2 cup of egg whites (or the egg whites of 4 large eggs) at room temperature
- 1 cup of sugar (do not reduce the sugar)
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- (mini chocolate Chips if desired)
- Preheat the oven to 225° F (I put my pizza stone on a bottom rack this keeps the oven warm for the second step of cooking)
- Line two baking sheet with parchment paper
- Separate 4 large egg whites and put in a very clean bowl of an electric mixer. Alternatively, add 1/2 cup of purchased egg whites.
- Turn the mixer on to a slow speed and start mixing using a whisk attachment
- Turn the mixer to a medium speed a the egg whites start looking creamy after about 1 minute.
- Add the cream of tartar & salt
- With the mixer on medium to high (speed 6) slowly add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Do not skip adding this slowly or the egg white will not hold up.
- With all the sugar added continue to beat the egg whites for 7 minutes at speed 6 or until they are at a soft peak. The whipped egg whites need to be soft enough to be piped in a piping bag but not so soft that they will not hold up after piping.
- If adding any extras like mini chocolate chips fold in slowly at this point.
- With a large piping bag and a large closed star pastry tip 1/2″ to pipe little start cookies onto the parchment paper. You can also spoon the cookies in a soft pile
- Bake the cookies in a 225° F oven for 1 hour,
- After 1 hour, turn the oven off and open the door slightly and leave the cookies in the oven for 1 additional hour.
- At this point, the cookies are not crunchy enough for our family. Next, I put the cookies in my dehydrator for 3 to 4 hours. You can leave the cookies in the oven longer if you do not have a dehydrator but I have found that the dehydrator works the best.
- Have the oven on and the cookie sheets prepared before you begin so that you can put the cookies in the oven as soon as the egg whites are a soft peak.
- You can also spoon the cookies in a nice pile if you do not want to pipe the cookies. This works best if you are adding mini chocolate chips or nuts.
- You can also add flavorings, like lemon, almond, mint or coconut.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Category: Dessert
- Method: baking
Beautiful, delicious, melt in your mouth, Vanilla Meringue Cookies are easy to make but do take some time before you have the finished cookie but they are worth the wait. Simple ingredients you have right in your kitchen. They are a show stopper at any party or holiday. Whenever I make these for our friends’ monthly potluck and card party they are gone before I can get one for myself. While I love these cookies be prepared to make a few batches before you get to know when they are dry and crisp. If you have any questions leave a comment.